Voices from Solitary: Colorado Department of Corrections in Need of Correction

For seven years, Clair L. Beazer has been an inmate in the supermax Colorado State Penitentiary in Cañon City–which, as we’ve written before, qualifies as the solitary confinement capital of the Western World. In this essay, Beazer describes the effects of years of solitary confinement, pointing out that while it is particularly torturous for inmates already suffering from mental illness, this “interminable, […]

Colorado Lawmakers Present Weakened Version of Solitary Confinement Bill

In Colorado, one of the nation’s solitary confinement capitals, state legislators recently brought hope to prisoners and their families and advocates by introducing a bill mean to limit the use of solitary. Now, that bill has been revised in committee, in favor of what the Associated Press bluntly described as “watered-down measures”: Colorado lawmakers have backed […]

Report Documents Abuse in Pennsylvania Prison's Lockdown Unit

A report released yesterday by the Human Rights Coalition, a nonprofit organization concerned with prisoners’ rights, provides a vivid and grim picture of life inside the solitary confinement unit of the State Correctional Institution at Huntingdon in south-central Pennsylvania. The report describes what it calls a “culture of terror” in the prison’s Restricted Housing Unit (RHU). For purposes […]

Solitary Confinement Comes to Capitol Hill

Most of the presentations at this past week’s congressional briefing on the effects of long-term solitary confinement provided a simple overview of what Solitary Watch’s readers know well: prolonged, isolated confinement causes serious psychological damage, and most courts and legislatures have been unwilling to find harsh practices unconstitutional or to change this nation’s current trajectory. […]

Congressional Briefing on Solitary Confinement to Take Place This Week

For the first time, members of Congress will sponsor a Capitol Hill briefing on the use and abuse of solitary confinement in U.S. prison and jails. Sponsors include John Conyers, Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, and panelists include several people we’ve written about before on Solitary Watch, including Robert King, Laura Rovner, and David Fathi. […]